USA Philosophy Program

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Philosophy is a discipline that relies upon reason, logic and experience to formulate, analyze, and answer many of life’s most important questions:

 

- What is the ultimate nature of reality?

- What is good and right in human affairs?

- What distinguishes knowledge from mere belief?

- Can we ever have certainty?

- How is thought and consciousness possible if the universe is only physical matter?

- Is there a divine reality beyond ordinary experience, and how could we know it if so?

- Could there be purpose, perhaps even meaning, to life?

 

The world’s philosophical traditions have deep insights to offer in response to each of these questions, and the Philosophy Department at the University of South Alabama consists of knowledgeable, experienced, and friendly faculty members who love discussing and exploring these issues with interested students.

 

But is studying philosophy helpful to a career? Yes it is!


 

Below, please find our courses and major requirements. If you are interested in our program, we encourage you to visit our department and talk personally with one of our faculty members. We would love to meet you!

  

Course Requirements

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY

Chair: John Coker (251) 460-6248

Full Professors: Meeker

Associate Professors: Coker, Loomis, Poston

Assistant Professors: Hillman, Youngblood

  

UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES

Through reasoned reflection, philosophy seeks to understand human experience in all its various aspects. Courses examine the moral, social, political, aesthetic, and religious dimensions of human existence, topics in special fields such as science, and the historical development of philosophy. In these courses students can develop skills in the presentation, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation of differing viewpoints, and refine their own beliefs about deeply important issues.

 

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PHILOSOPHY MAJORS

General Education Requirements for Philosophy are specified on the College of Arts and Sciences section.

 

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR IN PHILOSOPHY

All majors in Philosophy, whether concentrating in Philosophy, or in Classics, or in Religion, must complete 36 semester credit hours of course work, of which 18 hours (i.e., 50% of course work in their major) must be in the common core. In addition, all majors in Philosophy, whether concentrating in Philosophy, Religion and Classics, must complete 15 semester hours of course work in the major at the 300 and/or 400 level. All Majors in Philosophy, whether concentrating in Philosophy, or in Classics, or in Religion, must either 1) Minor in another discipline, or 2) Minor in a different concentration offered by the Department of Philosophy.

 

The Common Core

  • PHL 120 (Critical Thinking)
  • PHL 240 (Western Philosophy: Classical and Medieval)
  • PHL 245 (Western Philosophy: Renaissance/Enlightenment)
  • PHL 321 (Symbolic Logic)
  • PHL/REL/CLA/EH 310: (Classical Mythology)
  • PHL/REL/CLA 461: (Metaphysics)

 

The following further courses are required for the Religion Concentration:

  • PHL/REL 352 (World Religions and/or PHL/REL 355 (Chinese Philosophy)
  • PHL/REL 351 (Philosophy of Religion) and/or PHL/REL 354 (Philosophies of India)
  • 0, 1, or 2 Additional Religion (REL) courses at the 300 or 400 level (depending on whether all four, three, or only two of the preceding courses are taken)
  • 2 REL courses at any level

 

The following further courses are required for the Philosophy Concentration:

  • PHL 431 (Advanced Ethical Theory) and/or PHL 441 (Epistemology)
  • 1 or 2 additional Philosophy (PHL) courses at the 300/400 level (depending on whether both or only one of the preceding courses are taken)
  • 1 more (PHL) course at any level
  • 2 CLA, PHL, or REL courses at the 300 or 400 level

 

The following further courses are required for the Classics Concentration:

  • CLA 304 (Ancient Greek Art and Architecture) and CL 306 (Roman Art)
  • CLA 311 (Political Philosophy I: Classical and Medieval) or CLA 454 (Ancient Greek Culture) or CLA 455 (Ancient Roman Culture)
  • 2 Additional Classics (CLA) courses at any level
  • 1 CLA, PHL, or REL course at the 300 or 400 level
  • Fulfill Foreign Language Requirement by taking 1 year of Latin or 1 year of Ancient Greek

 

No more than nine hours at the 100-level may be counted toward the hours required for the major; however, additional hours taken at this level can be counted toward the total number of hours required for graduation. Fifteen hours must be taken at the 300/400-level. PHL 240 and 245 do not have to be taken in sequence and should be taken early in the major. Credit for PHL 499, Honors Thesis, is only given as an addition to the hours required for the major. Credit for PHL 499, Honors Thesis, is only given as an addition to the hours required for the major.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN PHILOSOPHY

A minimum of 18 semester hours in Philosophy, to include a logic course (PHL 121 or 321). At least nine hours must be taken in residence. No more than two 100-level courses may be counted toward the minor.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN CLASSICS

A minimum of 18 hours must be taken in Classics (CLA) courses. At least two courses must be taken in residence. No more than two 100-level courses may be counted toward the Classics minor. Students minoring in Classics must fulfill the Foreign Language requirement by taking either 2 semesters of Latin or 2 semester of Ancient Greek.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN RELIGION

A minimum of 18 semester hours in Religion. No more than two 100 level may be counted toward the minor. At least one course must be taken from each of the following Groups: Group A, Humanities, Group B, History, and Group C, Social Science. No more than 9 hours of courses may be counted toward the minor from each of Group A, Group B, and Group C. 9 hours of coursework must be taken as REL courses. 9 hours of coursework must be taken at the 300 and/or 400 level at the University of South Alabama. (Note: Courses listed below with a slash, /, are cross-listed between two or more different disciplines: you can register and receive credit for one, but only one, discipline (e.g., in the case of REL/SY 420, you can register and receive credit for either, but not both, REL 429 or SY 420).

Group A, Humanities; REL/PHL/CLA/EH/LG 310; REL/PHL 351; REL/PHL 354; REL/PHL 355

Group B, History: HY/REL 331; HY 332; HY/REL 343; HY/REL 347; HY 351; HY 352; HY/REL 353; HY/REL 364; HY/REL 365; HY/REL 373; HY/REL 465

Group C, Social Science: SY/REL/PHL 352; SY/REL 420

 

Philosophy Majors can now fulfill the Minor requirement by taking one of the other concentrations offered.

Majors concentrating in Classics can fulfill the Minor requirement by using Philosophy or Religion concentration.

Majors concentrating in Philosophy can fulfill the Minor requirement by using Religion or Classics concentration.

Majors concentrating in Religion can fulfill the Minor requirement by using Philosophy or Classics concentration.

 

GRADUATE STUDIES

Although the Department of Philosophy has no graduate program, graduate-level courses are offered for those students who need such work.